Social networking the pros and cons

There are both positive and negative effects for a child who often uses social networking sites, it has been suggested. In a presentation given at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills explained the benefits and drawbacks of sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Entitled Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids, Professor Rosen noted young people who use the portals - which have millions of users around the world - have more narcissistic tendencies, while daily overuse of the web pages can make kids more prone to anxiety and depression.

However, it was also claimed social networks encourages virtual empathy among friends and can teach them how to improve their social skills.

Professor Rosen advised parents: "You have to start talking about appropriate technology use early and often and build trust, so that when there is a problem ... your child will talk to you about it."

You may be interested to read a related article about social media and social unrest which includes a comment from Chartered Psychologist Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University.

What are your views? Post your comments below.

I think it is important to realise the risks of one posing themselves in a certain way when it comes to social networking. Its is very important for every indivual to have full control over the sort of image that they present out there. From experience the less information you give of yourself the less risk you put out there. Social networking is a wonderful experience in the sense that its really enlightening interacting with people that you did not get to see regularly especially long distant family members and people from school many years ago. From my observation it tends to be that the people who are more popular on social networking sites tend to be those who are more outgoing, who are outspoken about interests that concern young people especially things like music and the media and who are much more photogenic.

On the flipside some individuals take advantage of the social networking as a means of bullying which in other words is called cyber bullying. Other individuals use it as an opportunity to promote violence. With the events that have been occuring within the UK in the past couple of days, it is very important that young people especially should understand that whatever actions they put out there whether is negative or positive is closely monitored. Im in full support of social networking as long as it does not spread more violence within the UK.

Its is all about being positive and not inflicting emotional abuse on others.